The Challenge returns for yet another season with the ultimate battle. Battle of the Seasons. The teams, who were originally picked to live in a house, are now picked to not kill each other before the end.
Who went home on the first results?
With the current season of The Real World winding down, that can only mean one thing: the next season of MTV’s The Challenge is on the way. The theme this season is Battle of the Seasons and takes place in Turker with former Real World contestants battling it out for $250,000.
Watch the video here:
We recently had the honor of interviewing MTV Challenge veteran Mark Long. Fans will remember Mark made his debut on MTV’s Road Rules and continued to prove himself as one of the best competitors seen on The Challenge. We spoke to Mark about what inspired him to come out of retirement for the new season, who he’d like to see back on the show, what’s next for him, and yes, punching the bus.
“I’ve come back to this show to be the oldest, the best in shape, and with the coolest haircut.”
Check it out!
Mark: Well, thank you! I’m glad to be back.
PCL: Yeah! We wanted to ask, you’re sort of coming out of retirement for this one. What made you decide to get back in there and show ’em how it’s done?
Mark: Well, I’ve never done a back to back Challenge. I’ve never wanted to be the guy that wanted to live on these challenges. I wanted to go away for a little while so the fans miss you a little bit. This was just perfect timing. I talked to the producers and I was like “It’s gotta be now because I’m 40.” 40 just sounded like a cool story whereas 41 sounds like “Who’s this loser?” 41 just sounded lame to me. It’s fun. It was just perfect timing. Hopefully it’ll be a fun show for everyone to watch. I’m hoping it will broaden the demographic a little bit, get some older viewers in there.
PCL: Yeah, I don’t care for the new people.
Mark: Well, the problem with the new people is that they just have them over and over. It feels like you’re watching the same show but with different endings. People might get tired of it. Coral would be great to have back on that show and she’s been gone for awhile and she was so popular back in the day. I hope me being back will open the door to have some other older cast members or veterans back.
PCL: Are there any veterans you would like to see back on a Challenge?
Mark: You know who would be awesome to see back? He’s actually my age. Eric Nies would be great on the Challenge. A lot of the younger contestants look to us as an older father/brother type but I never preach to them. Eric would almost preach to them about how they should live their life and they’d probably get so annoyed with him.
PCL: It’d be awesome if he came back with like, the jump rope.
Mark: Yeah! The jump rope. Remember when he bought the jump rope and had it in like every scene?
PCL: I remember when someone stole it.
Mark: Yeah it’s like “Who stole my jump rope?” It was like it was a gold chain. Eric would be awesome to have back. I loved when old school Syrus popped up. You know who hasn’t been on in awhile? I don’t think he’s into it as much because he’s so busy now..remember Ace from Paris? He was always a good time.
PCL: You’re probably better than half of the ones we see every single season anyway.
Mark: I will say this, and I hope it makes the first episode. I said “I’ve come back to this show to be the oldest, the best in shape, and with the coolest haircut.” You can go ahead and quote that. That was my goal. But I’m not like other people that train for the Challenges. I kind of have a routine all year round. I’m in shape at any moment. That’s the problem with me. This has got to be my last challenge. It just has to be because I can’t keep doing this. As easy and fun as they are, It’s gotta be progressive. I’ve gotta be on Survivor or something other than The Challenge. There’s such a generation gap because I just do not enjoy staying up all night drinking wine around the kitchen table.
PCL: Battle of the Exes is a format we haven’t seen before. I was wondering if you had a favorite Challenge format? If you prefer teams or going in there solo?
Mark: You know I loved the Duel 2. As much as I like working with the teams, its just so much less pressure when you know you have to rely on yourself. And for me a lot of this is physical stuff. Like 30% of it is physical and 70% of it is how you’re perceived around the house. It’s a social game and how you get along with everyone. I think when you just have to rely on yourself you know that it’s just you on the line.
Mark: I wish Battle of the Exes was The Duel 3 to be honest with you. But you can’t win them all. I think because Rivals was so popular, the animosity with the teams was so popular so it just worked perfectly with the next one. I do think a Duel 3 is probably coming but unfortunately, I won’t be there.
PCL: Well, maybe you’ll host the reunion or something so we’ll still get to see you.
Mark: Yeah, maybe I can show up for one Challenge as a judge or guest host or something. That’d be cool.
PCL: Kind of like how CT and Tina returned for one Challenge.
Mark: Exactly. I don’t mind doing that. It’s just the daily thing. They’re very strict. We don’t get TV, phones, internet, or anything. So it’s like you’re in jail. We laugh about how we’re competing to stay in jail to make money basically. But it’s fun. You look back on it and remember the fun stuff and not banging your head against the wall thinking it’s the most boring day ever.
PCL: Or punching a bus…
Mark: Or punching a bus. The bus was a great scene wasn’t it?
PCL: Do you have a favorite past Challenge moment?
Mark: Do you want me to go like old school?
Mark: I have a Road Rules favorite moment. I’ll give you two favorite moments. One of my favorite moments is Battle of the Sexes 2. The day before the final I decided with Eric that I was gonna throw the Challenge and let him do a final because he’s never done one. So we did this Challenge and I totally fall off this roof and the girls are celebrating thinking it’s all for real. And on the show they flashback to us plotting and scheming. That was a really cool moment. That was fun. All the challenges are fun. When I was skydiving on the Road Rules that was crazy.
Mark: You know what the funnest moments are? I think a lot of the cast will agree with me. If you have a good room and good people you’re sharing it with, the best times are when it’s late and everyone is in their little bunk beds like they’re 8 years old and just bullshitting and telling stories and laughing so much that we have to tell everyone to shut up so we can go to bed. Those are the best moments. It’s like summer camp.
PCL: What can fans expect from this season? Is it gonna be just as crazy?
Mark: They can expect some really cool Challenges that are really different. They’re not like hopscotch. You can expect a lot of fighting and drama from past couples. There’s a little bit of backstabbing. Everything that makes a Challenge watchable. I think they’re gonna be excited by it. If you put a bunch of kids in a house with a fridge full of alcohol something’s gonna happen. It’s gonna be exciting.
PCL: After this Challenge, what else are you working on?
Mark: I just did a pilot for the History channel. I’m still co-managing Keenan Cahill. This year I’m gonna get back into fitness and hosting. I’m gonna branch out and hopefully try to explore that angle of hosting stuff from a fitness angle from the older fellow.
PCL: Oh, you’re not that old. You look good. You don’t look 40.
Mark: Well, good! And I’ll tell you this, the first episode, we’re in speedos.
PCL: Something to look forward to.
We’d like to thank Mark for taking the time to answer some questions for us. It was a great interview and we had a lot of fun with it. It was an honor! Be sure to check back for our weekly Challenge posts and get updates through our twitter!
You can follow Mark on Twitter here and be sure to watch The Challenge: Battle of the Exes when it premieres Wednesday, January 25th on MTV.
Interview by Noelle Gruber
Fans of MTV’s The Challenge (the ones with taste anyway) know that Coral Smith is one of the baddest, kick ass challengers the show has ever had. Since The Gauntlet 3, Coral hasn’t appeared on a challenge. In this new interview with MTV, Coral chats about what she’s been up to and the possibility of her returning to a challenge to beat bitches up. Make sure to follow her on twitter!
Why did you first try out for “Real World”?
Trying out was a total fluke. I was working as a nanny and going to school at the time and was invited to what I thought was an MTV party at a club a friend of mine owned in downtown Oakland. It all happened so fast, and when the room stopped spinning, I was in New York City with cameras in my face wearing a mic 24 hours a day.
Did you expect to make a great friend out of Mike? What do you think of his WWE success?
When Mike and I first met, I was so not a fan. We fought every day and I was super hard on him. I didn’t let him trip without pointing and laughing. When I got to understand that he wasn’t malicious, I realized that he was a sweet guy with a lot of heart and passion and was funny, funny, funny!
I truly adore Mike. I refuse to call him “The Miz,” however. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I will say that he is an inspiration to me and everyone that has ever had a dream to become something.
What was it like to win your first Challenge and now stand as one of very few who’s never been eliminated from the game?
Winning my first Challenge was insane! Just crossing the finish line was a moment that cannot be duplicated. Besides winning the money, it was an accomplishment that me and Mike were so proud of. We came together as teammates and I just had the best time. To be able to say that I have never been eliminated is really like a guilty pleasure–I try not to brag but, hey, man, it’s pretty freaking awesome. Nobody has ever knocked me down or sent me packing.
Looking back, do you have any favorite Challenges, missions or elimination rounds?
I can’t say sending Tina home on “The Gauntlet” wasn’t a game highlight because it most certainly was. The fact that she wouldn’t shut her trap the entire time, or that she vowed to send me home, made me want her in that pool! I wanted her hair all wet and her ass freezing and for her to be sent packing, and it went down exactly how I wanted it to. Bye.
Winning the lifesaver on the “Inferno” might have been one of the best, too. Those people wanted me gone, and the fact that I was able to beat everyone plotting against me was just epic. Shoving it in their faces and holding their fate in my hands just made it one of those moments that I will never forget. The absolute bomb.
Julie‘s done it, and Tonya followed suit–Coral, why do people insist on peeing in your bed?
That’s their nasty ass problem. Gross. I mean, seriously, if they think they were getting me, then they were sorely mistaken. A grown woman pissing in the bed of another person with cameras catching the stream is just disgusting and not funny at all. I didn’t catch them showering afterward, either. I’m just saying…
Where did your mastery of one-liners come from, and did you expect to turn into the show’s resident comedian?
I am so happy that people have found me funny and been able to laugh really hard at my take on things, especially the “Beat bitches up” comment. I mean, I was pissed when I said that. I honestly think I would have been removed from all things TV had I participated in that ridiculous [wrestling match] that horse face tried to drag me into. And I stand by that statement! I don’t wrestle…you know the rest.
Why did you walk away from “Gauntlet 3,” and was the fact that you were betrayed part of the reason you haven’t returned?
The boys, Casey and Ev were flat-out cheating. They were throwing challenges to get the people they didn’t think belonged on their final team to go home. It was dishonest, lazy, sh***y and just plain cowardly, and I was not going to play by their rules. If they were not going to really play the game or let people and their performances stand for itself, I had no desire to be on a team with any of them.
As far as Evan is concerned, I admit I was surprised that he was playing both sides and so easily persuaded by financial gain. We were an amazing team on “Fresh Meat.” I don’t hold any grudges, but he and they got what they deserved on that show: absolutely nothing.
What have you been up to since we saw you last?
I’m back in San Francisco still working as a host for an internet-based travel show about the luxury of cruises and writing for some choice magazines and websites. I have an amazing family that has stood by me through all this change and finding my way. I have a perfect pup named Boston and have been active in the animal rights arena and fighting with the GLBT community for equal rights for everyone. I have also been riding horses and traveling every chance I get. I’m a happy, happy chick.
What do you think of the new cast of “Exes”?
It’s a straight-up genius pairing of people, and I cannot wait to give my two cents on all the backstabbing and screaming. I know I’ll be seeing tons of jealousy and all the ex-sex my virgin eyes can handle.
Check out the trailer for Battle of the Exes here! Don’t forget to tune in when it premieres on January 25th on MTV.
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